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France’s Antoine Dupont runs through to score their seventh try in their Rugby World Cup pool A win against Namibia at Stade Velodrome in Marseille on September 21. Picture: REUTERS/ PETER CZIBORRA
France’s Antoine Dupont runs through to score their seventh try in their Rugby World Cup pool A win against Namibia at Stade Velodrome in Marseille on September 21. Picture: REUTERS/ PETER CZIBORRA

Paris — Antoine Dupont’s recovery from surgery on a broken cheekbone is progressing well and it may not be too long before the France scrumhalf is back on the pitch, assistant coach William Servat said, raising hopes he could return in time for the quarterfinals.

The captain will return to the squad on Sunday, though he will not take part in their last pool A game against Italy on October 6. But there is growing optimism in the French camp he could return for the knockout rounds, which begin on October 14-15.

France are on course to top pool A, which would see them meet the runners-up in pool B — almost certain to be the Springboks — in the October 15 quarter at Stade de France.

“Antoine is doing very well, the surgery went very well,” Servat said.

“He’s obviously resting at home. He will be back for Sunday’s training. Friday and Saturday being days off, he will be able to come back within this time frame.”

Dupont’s return to competition, however, will need to be approved by his surgeon, Frederic Lauwers.

“The first thing is to take care of our players. Antoine will resume training at his own pace, even if there is a desire to come back as quickly as possible,” Servat said.

“It is obviously out of the question to schedule anything as long as he doesn’t have the green light of the medical staff. But it seems he could be quickly back on a team sheet for France.”

Flanker Francois Cros was also optimistic Dupont would be back in action soon.

“It’s good news, we have to be optimistic,” he said.

“But we are going to wait for his return to talk to him. Antoine is the only one who will be able to tell us if he feels ready to play.” 

Reuters


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